Charter Schools: What You Need to Know

by Tanya Anton | GoMamaGuide.com [Updated from a previous version.]

Now that it’s Charter Season, we want you to be prepared. In this article we’ll cover some basics and a few specifics you should know about charter schools.Charter Draft

First, it bears repeating that California is at the forefront of the charter movement with more students enrolled in charter schools here than anywhere else in the country. There are 23,000 101,060* 199,863* students enrolled in charter schools in Los Angeles County alone, and 49,840* on waitlists. Nearly 1 in every 4 students within LAUSD attend charters, and that number is growing every year.

*updated for the 2016 school year according to CCSA.org  

Charters are tuition-free semi-independent, somewhat autonomous schools operating with public funds, authorized by either the local school district, the county, or the state board of ed. Charters get their name from the lengthy legal document that outlines the many facets of the operation of their charter school – from the vision to curriculum to staffing to governance to fiscal, academic and campus procedures.

Some charters are chains of schools replicated on multiple sites run by large charter management organizations (CMOs), and others are small individual school start-ups launched by an ad-hoc group of parents, educators, visionaries and entrepreneurs with a shared vision of providing an alternative model of education.

All charters in California have to follow federal law, state ed codes, teach grade level content standards, and participate in standardized testing.

In Los Angeles There Are Two Types of Charters

Independent charters have the most autonomy to operate with full flexibility on staff hiring and firing (they don’t typically use the UTLA teachers contract so they are non-union), can make their own decisions in terms of budget, governance, overall school direction and operation, and are unaffected by district budget cuts or policy changes. Unless they are extremely well-endowed and can afford their own building, most independent charters apply for classroom space via Prop 39 and are given a minimum number of classrooms co-located on the side of another LAUSD neighborhood school campus. In recent years this process has been fraught with political infighting and less than transparent negotiations when it comes to which campuses have space, which do not, and which programs get offered which space. The current school board climate has been at times downright hostile to charters, thus severely limiting their ability to operate and serve students, let alone grow to accommodate their waitlists. Highly sought-after charters can sometimes have wait lists in the hundreds each year. 

The other type of charter is the affiliated conversion charter – schools that were a traditional neighborhood school that “went charter” after 51% or more of the staff voted to convert to charter status. More of a hybrid, these charters have some autonomy on teaching, curriculum and textbooks, some budgetary flexibility with monies they get directly from the state, but are bound by UTLA/LAUSD policy on things like teacher contracts (must hire UTLA teachers therefore subject to seniority and bumping rights), and are affected by district decisions such as class size increases, calendar changes, or lateral reductions in specific staff positions and programs. Think of them as a neighborhood school with some autonomy perks. Affiliated charters may have less autonomy than the independent charter, but more importantly they get to keep their facility (building), and must give enrollment priority to those who reside within the neighborhood attendance area. So the only way to assure enrollment, is to reside within the footprint. Many conversion charters are so full of neighborhood kids that few remaining seats ever go up for lottery, and if they do, hundreds of students may apply for them and be waitlisted.

In terms of applying to charters, anyone from any district may apply, and you may apply to as many charters as you like. Enrollment for independent charters is drawn by public lottery, which you can be present for or not. Independent charters give priority enrollment to founding families if it’s a start-up, staff members, and usually siblings of current students. Some charters will also give priority to those who reside within the local school district (LAUSD), a specific nearby school attendance zone, or to those who qualify for the Free/Reduced Lunch program. Affiliated charters must give priority to residents first, then non-residents. Each charter application process and lottery is overseen and run independently by each school site.

Built-in Academic Accountability

Unlike a neighborhood school that can fail year after year and nothing is done about it, charter schools face a renewal process every 4-5 years where in order to continue to stay open they are reviewed and voted on by their authorizing board. They MUST meet state requirements or they can be in jeopardy of being shut down. This can, and has happened to some charter schools.

Many charters (but not all) have had excellent academic results. Some are able to offer smaller class sizes, and a smaller overall student body size which can lead to greater individual attention and student success. Some offer alternative models of education that might fit better for some children than the traditional district model. However, sometimes due to space constraints this is at the expense of other “peripheral programs” or enrichments, such as visual or performing arts, an instrumental music program, PE or sports or outdoor green space, or a dedicated lunchroom or cafeteria, or even a library.

Not all charters outperform neighborhood schools. In fact, most recent numbers show that charters, on average, aren’t performing that much better than district schools. Some are, some aren’t. It really depends on the school.

Charters Offer Alternatives to the Traditional District Model
One thing charter schools do offer is a panoply of educational options, ranging from strictly college-prep academic, to crunchy-granola progressive schools, to language immersions, to STEM-focused (science, tech, engineering, math), to developmental project-based co-constuctivist leanings, to pumped-up traditional schools whose only difference to the garden-variety district model is a nicer demeanor, more enrichments and curricular flexibility. But there are plenty of choices. If the traditional neighborhood school is not meeting the needs of your child, there’s a whole range of charter schools out there to explore.

Prop 39 Co-Locations
Charter schools apply for District space every year via Prop 39 which requires districts to provide classroom space to charter schools. Due to space limitations, many charters are co-located on the side of another district school campus, housed in a set of temporary bungalows, or a side wing of another campus. Sometimes they share facilities, and sometimes charter schools opt for private space and set up in a church, a business park, or even a strip mall. Accordingly, the space limitations can be less than ideal. There might not be a library, or sports field for PE and recess, or an auditorium for assemblies, performances, or graduation, or even a dedicated lunchroom or cafeteria. Sometimes having a (non-union/non-district) charter on the same campus as a traditional district-union school can cause friction and a literal turf war. Sometimes co-locations can work in a collaborative way, but many times (especially of late) the schools like siblings, fight and campaign against each other, politically-speaking, pitting families against one another.

Still, charters are not going away and they provide much-needed options where district schools have failed kids. And, many of them are extremely successful. And, despite allegations otherwise, most LA charters are not-for-profit.

What makes a charter great? Could be an innovative teaching model, collaborative learning, special partnerships, flexible learning environment, enthusiastic teachers, motivated students and a great community of like-minded families. No two charter schools are alike. One must really do one’s research, tour and apply directly at each school site you’re interested in, as there is no one-stop centralized application process that covers all your charter options.

Charter Highlights:
-Can apply to as many as you like
-Apply directly at each school site
-Each school site maintains its own lottery and timeline/deadlines
-Some make you attend a mandatory open house/tour before you can apply
-Some allow you to apply online site unseen
-Conversion charters give priority to residents within the attendance area
-Each charter has its own lottery priorities: founding families, staff, siblings (sometimes)
-Some also give a priority to LAUSD residents, if you qualify for Free/Reduced Lunch program (Title 1), or come from a certain feeder school
-Charters means commuting (no transportation provided)
-No accumulating wait list or points
-Must reapply yearly if you don’t get in

What are the charters in your area? Please consult my color-coded maps on the school finder page of my website. Charters are marked in green.

Or book a consultation with me and together we’ll go over all your charter options.
In-personPhone.

Or check out the California Charter Schools Assoc for more info.

Want to use this article? You can as long as long as you include this complete blurb with it:
 
Tanya Anton is the creator of GoMamaGuide.com helping parents demystify and navigate their public school options in Los Angeles. To read more articles by Tanya or to learn about her Guidebooks, House Chats, Consultations, and Seminars, visit GoMamaGuide.com or email us at GoMama@mac.com.
© 2017 by Tanya Anton, GoMamaGuide.com All Rights Reserved. 

2016 Charter Deadlines Are Happening!

Charter SchlsHey folks, it’s Charter Season, meaning if you’re looking for charter school options for the Fall of 2016-17, NOW is the time to get those applications in!

Each charter school is responsible for running their own admissions process and application timeline, so be sure to check with the charter schools you are interested in to get all the specific details. If you applied and were waitlisted last year, you need to apply again this year. (Luckily there are no points to worry about!)

To make things easy for you, I have compiled a list of some of the more asked about charters. This is by no means an exhaustive list but it’s a good place to start. Use my maps. And as I always recommend:

Tour.  Ask Questions.  Apply.  Repeat.

Most charters give preference to siblings of existing students*, and many charters offer other priorities such as to founding families or staff members, students residing within LAUSD or even a specific LAUSD school attendance area, or students who qualify for the Free/Reduced Meal Plan. To be sure, read the fine print on the application.

* LAUSD has recently removed the sibling preference from the boilerplate charter language that must be included in all Affiliated Conversion renewals.

To learn more about what a charter school is, go HERE.
To learn more about affiliated conversion charters, go HERE.
To peruse my color-coded school finder maps, go HERE. (Charters are in green.)

OK. OK already. Here are the Lists.
(Remember these are by no means exhaustive. Do your research!)

Charter Elementary Schools
Charter Middle Schools

2016 Charter Deadlines – Elementary Schools

2016 Charter Deadlines – Elementary Schools

Not an exhaustive list. Please view my school finder maps.
All schools grades K-5 unless otherwise noted.

West:
Citizens of the World Charter/Mar Vista (TK-5) – apps/apply online, deadline Feb 22 5p, lottery Mar 7 6p
MV tours: Feb 17 6:30p
www.cwcmarvista.org

Goethe — apps avail online, deadline Mar 25 4:30p, lottery Apr 5 6p
tours: Feb 11, 18, Mar 1, 10
www.goethecharterschool.org

Ocean Charter School (TK-8) — apps closed, deadline Jan 29, lottery Feb 24 10a @MV Campus
ongoing info tours
www.oceancharterschool.org

WISH (TK-8) —  call school for more lottery info
tours: EL: Feb 10, Mar 9
www.wishcharter.org

Canyon Charter – priority given to residents, remaining seats up for lottery
apps avail now in each office, deadline Mar 14 12p, lottery Mar 18 8:30a
http://www.canyoncharter.com/resources/files/Canyon_Lottery2016.pdf

Kenter Canyon – priority given to residents, remaining seats up for lottery
Apps avail online or apply in person beginning Feb 16, deadline Apr 8 12p, Lottery Apr 22 8:30a
http://kentercanyon.org/lottery-information/

Marquez Charter – priority given to residents, remaining seats up for lottery
for lottery info, tour dates and to RSVP call 310-454-4019
http://marquezcharter.org/registration

Palisades Charter – priority given to residents, remaining seats up for lottery
tours: Feb 9, Mar 1, Apr 5, Jun 6 8:45a – call school for deadlines
palielementary.org/lottery.php

Topanga Charter – priority given to residents, remaining seats up for lottery
Tours: Feb 4, 25 9a – call school for deadlines
www.topangaelementary.org/admissions.html

Westwood Charter – priority given to residents, remaining seats, if any, up for lottery
Apps avail Feb 8, deadline Apr 8, lottery Apr 29
www.westwoodcharter.org/lottery-information

Valley:
Chime Institute (K-8) — apps avail online now, deadline Mar 4 3p, lottery tbd
tours: Feb 3, 5, 12, 17, 29, Mar 6 9a
www.chimeinstitute.org

iLEAD Encino (formerly CalSTEAM) (TK-9) – apps avail on site, deadline Mar 11, lottery Mar 25
tours: Feb 3
ileadencino.org/prospective-families

Our Community School (K-8) —  apps avail online now, deadline for K: Mar 4, deadline for Gr 1-8: May 27
Lottery for K: Mar 11 11a, Gr 1-8: Jun 3 11a
tours: Feb 10, Mar 9, Apr 13, May 4 8a
ourcommunityschool.org

Valley Charter Schl (K-8) — apps avail online now, deadline Feb 5 4p, lottery Feb 19
tours: call 818.810.6713
elementary.valleycharterschool.org
 
Central:
Citizens of the World Charter/Hollywood – apps avail now, deadline Feb 24 5p, lottery Mar 9 6p
tours: Feb 4, 19 9a, , Feb 4 6:30p
cwchollywood.org

Larchmont Charter/Hwd/WeHo (TK-12) —  one application for all campuses
apps avail online now, deadline Feb 17 5p, lottery Feb 27 9a
tours: see website
larchmontcharter.org

East:
Citizens of the World Charter/Silver Lk (TK-6) – apps avail online now, deadline Mar 1 5p, lottery Mar 15 5:30p
tours: call
cwcsilverlake.org

Gabriela Charter (K-8) – apps avail online now, deadline Mar 3 6p, lottery Mar 17 6p
tours: call
gabriellacharterschool.org

Los Feliz Charter Schl Arts (TK-6) — apps avail online now, deadline Feb 24, lottery Mar 3 3p
tours: Feb 10, 18 9a full
www.losfelizarts.org

Other:
SMASH (K-8) — apps avail online, deadline Mar 18, lottery early April (priority given to Santa Monica residents)
tours: Mondays at 9a
www.smash.smmusd.org

— Be sure to check out my Middle Schools List too!

As always, if you are troubled, confused or need guidance, I am happy to help. Together we’ll go over all your charter options. In-personPhone.

2015 Charter Deadlines Looming!

Enroll now

Hey folks, it’s Charter Season, meaning if you are looking for charter school options for the Fall of 2015-16, NOW is the time to get those applications in.

Each charter school is responsible for running their own admissions and application timelines, so be sure to check with the charter schools you are interested in to get all the specific details. If you applied and were waitlisted last year, you need to apply again this year. (Luckily there are no points to worry about!)

Independent charters open their lotteries to anyone from any district. Affiliated conversion charters, an LAUSD hybrid type charter, gives first priority to those residing within the school’s attendance area with any remaining seats lotteried off to non-residents.

All charters give preference to siblings of existing students, and many charters offer other priorities such as to founding families or staff members, students residing within LAUSD or even a specific LAUSD school’s attendance area, or students who qualify for the Free/Reduced Meal Plan. To be sure, read the fine print on the application.

To learn more about what a charter school is, go HERE.
To learn more about affiliated conversion charters, go HERE.
To peruse my color-coded school finder maps, go HERE. (Charters are in green.)

To make it easy for you, here’s a quick list of some of the more popular charter tours, application deadlines and lottery dates. Most applications can be downloaded online on the school’s website, and either mailed or physically handed in to the school’s office. Also, if you missed the deadline, you can usually put in a late wait list application, although your mileage may vary.

Ok, here’s that list! Middle Schools are below the Elementary list.

2015 Charter Deadlines – Elementary Schools
Not an exhaustive list. Please view my school finder maps.

West:

Palisades Chtr Complex (Canyon, Palisades, Marquez, Kenter Cyn, Topanga ELs all share same deadlines) – priority given to residents, remaining seats up for lottery
apps avail now in each office, deadline Mar 23 12p, lottery Mar 27 8:30a

Citizens of the World Charter (Mar Vista) – apps/apply online, deadline Feb 16, lottery Mar 3 4p
tours: Feb 6, 9 and 11 9a
www.cwcmarvista.org

Goethe — apps avail online, deadline Mar 27, lottery Apr 14 6p
tours: Jan 22 and 29, Feb 5, 19 and 26 8:15a
www.goethecharterschool.org

Ocean Charter School (TK-8) — apps closed, deadline Jan 30, lottery Feb 25 10a @MV Campus
Info mtgs: Jan 27 8:15a, Jan 27 6p, Jan 29 8:30a
www.oceancharterschool.org

WISH (TK-8) —  apps avail online, deadline Mar 18 6p, lottery Mar 27 @LMU
tours: Jan 21 9a & 6p, Feb 18 9a, Mar 18 6p
www.wishcharter.org

Valley:

Chime Institute (K-8) — apps avail online now, deadline Mar 6 3p, lottery tbd
tours: Feb 13, 20, Mar 6 9a
www.chimeinstitute.org

New Horizons Charter Academy (TK-8) — apps avail online, deadline Jan 26, lottery Jan 30
Tours/Late WaitList: Call 818.655.9602
nhcharteracademy.com

Our Community School (TK-8) —  apps avail online now, deadline for K: Mar, deadline for Gr 1-8: May
tours: Feb 4, Feb 18, Mar 4, Apr 8, May 6 8a
ourcommunityschool.org

Valley Charter Schl EL — apps avail online now, deadline Feb 6 4p, lottery Feb 20 3:30p
tours: call 818.810.6713
elementary.valleycharterschool.org

Central:

Larchmont Charter/Hwd/WeHo (TK-12) —  one application for all campuses
apps avail online now, deadline Feb 18 5p, lottery Feb 28 9a
larchmontcharter.org

Citizens of the World Charter/Hollywood – apps avail now, deadline Feb 17 5p, lottery Mar 12 4p
tours: morning tours sign up list, Jan 15 6:30p Feb 10 6:30p
cwchollywood.org

East:

Los Feliz Charter Schl Arts (TK-6) — apps avail online now, deadline Feb 24 (by mail/fax) lottery Mar 3 3p
tours: Jan 29 9a, Feb 19 9a, Feb 23
www.losfelizarts.org

Citizens of the World Charter/Silver Lk – apps avail online now, deadline Feb 15, lottery Mar 17
tours: Feb 10 11a
cwcsilverlake.org

Not a charter but another option:

SMASH (K-8) — apps avail online, deadline for K: Mar 31, deadline for Gr 1-8: Apr 30, K lottery early April (priority given to Santa Monica residents)
tours: Jan 27 9a, Feb 5 9a, Feb 24 9a, Mar 24 9a, Mar 31 9a
www.smash.smmusd.org

2014 Charter Deadlines – Middle Schools
Not an exhaustive list. Please view my school finder maps.
*All schools grades 6-8 unless otherwise noted. 

Animo WS MS — apps avail online now for wait list, deadline Dec 3 4p
tours: Feb 4, 11, 18, 25 9a, Feb 12 & 26 5:30p, Mar 11, 18, 25 9a, Mar 12 & 26 5:30p
www.greendot.org/page.cfm?p=3990

The City School (6-9+) — apps avail online now, deadline Mar 6 11p, lottery Mar 12 4p
tours: Feb 12 7p
www.citycharterschool.org

Larchmont Charter School (6-10+) — apps avail online now, deadline Feb 18 5p, lottery Feb 28 9a
www.larchmontcharter.org

Magnolia Science Academy 4 (6-12) — apps avail online now, deadline Jan 16 4p, lottery Feb 7 10a
tours: Every Weds 3p
msa4.magnoliascience.org

Magnolia Science Academy 6 — apps avail online now
msa6.magnoliascience.org

New LA Charter — apps avail in person, deadline Mar 6 6p, lottery Mar 13 6:30p
tours: Feb 14, 17, 27 and Mar 6 6p
www.newlosangeles.org

New West Charter (6-11+) — mandatory tour Jan 24 @SaMoHi, deadline Feb 6 4p, verification Feb 11 & 25 2-6p, lottery Mar 11 2:30p
Wail list apps for all grades accepted until June 2015
www.newwestcharter.org

Ocean Charter School (DK-8) — late wait list apps avail at office, deadline Jan 30, lottery Feb 25 10a
www.oceancharterschool.org 

Paul Revere Charter (non-resident lottery) —  deadline Jan 16 12p, lottery Feb 11 7p
**can apply for the non-resident late wait list
www.paulreverems.com

Westchester Secondary Charter (6-11+) — apps avail online now, deadline Mar 20 5p, lottery Mar 23 5p
tours: Jan 14, Feb 11 9a, Mar 4 6:30p
www.westchestercharter.org

Wish Charter (TK-8) — apps avail online, deadline Mar 18 6p, lottery Mar 27
tours: Jan 21 9a & 6p, Feb 18 9a, Mar 18 6p – call 1st 310.642.9474
www.wishmiddle.org

Not a charter but another option:

Incubator Pilot School (6-9+)– apps avail online now, guaranteed admission if paperwork in by Feb 13 4p
tours: ongoing – sign up online
www.incubatorschool.org 

As always, I’m here for you if you need assistance. Good luck!

It’s Charter Season!

Now that the Magnet deadline is fully behind us, it’s time to get your charter school applications in for next year. Each charter school is responsible for running their own admissions and application timelines, so be sure to check with the charter schools you are interested in to get all the specific details.

To learn more about what a charter school is, go HERE.
To learn more about affiliated conversion charters, go HERE.
To peruse my color-coded school finder maps, go HERE. (Charters are in green.)

For guidance on which charters are the best fit for your family, consider either an in-home of phone consultation with me, read more HERE.

Independent charters open their lotteries to anyone from any district. Affiliated conversion charters, an LAUSD hybrid type charter, gives first priority to those residing within the school’s attendance area with any remaining seats lotteried off to non-residents.

All charters give preference to siblings of existing students, and some charters offer other priorities, such as to founding families or staff members, students residing within LAUSD, or students qualifying for Free/Reduced Meal Plan (ie. low socio-economic status.)

Each lottery is independently operated and instituted by each individual charter school. Applications are handled directly with each school site. There are no points involved, thankfully. If you applied and were waitlisted last year, you need to reapply this year.

While not an exhaustive list by any means, here’s a quick list of some of the more popular charter tours, application deadlines and lottery dates around town. Most applications can be downloaded online on the school’s website, and either mailed or physically handed in to the school’s office.

Ok, here’s that (partial) list.

Select 2014 Elementary School Charter Deadlines:
(child must turn 5 by Sept 1, 2014 for entry into Kinder 2014)

Palisades Chtr Complex ELs (Canyon, Palisades, Kenter Cyn, Marquez, Topanga – all share same deadlines) — apps avail now in each office, deadline March 21 12p, lottery April 25 8:30a

Ocean Charter School (TK-8) — apps avail online now, deadline Jan 24,
lottery Feb 27 10a


WISH (DK-7) —  apps avail shortly, deadline March tbd, lottery March 28 8:30a
EL tours: Feb 19 9a, Mar 12 6p
www.wishcharter.org

Citizens of the World Charter/Mar Vista (TK-3) – apps avail online now, deadline March 3, lottery March 28 4p
tours: Jan 31 8:50a, Feb 12 7p
Citizens of the World Charter/Hollywood – apps avail online now, deadline March 3 4p, lottery March 24 4p
tours: Jan 28 6:15p, Feb 11 6:15p, Feb 20 9a
Citizens of the World Charter/Silver Lk – apps avail online now, deadline March 3 4p, lottery March 20 7:30p
tours: Feb 11 10:30a, Mar 4 6:30p
cwcsilverlake.org


Goethe
 — apps avail online now, deadline Feb 28,  lottery in March 18 6p
tours: Jan 30 9a
www.goethecharterschool.org

Larchmont Charter/Hollywood (K-12) & WeHo (K-8) — apps avail online now, deadline Feb 19 5p, lottery Mar 1 9a
www.larchmontcharter.org  and www.larchmontcharterweho.org

Los Feliz Charter Schl Arts (K-6) — apps avail online now, deadline Mar 4 12p (by mail/fax) lottery Mar 4
tours: Jan 21 5p, Feb 4 5p, Feb 18 5p
Valley Charter Schl EL — apps avail online now, deadline Feb 7 4p, lottery Feb 21 3:30p
tours: Jan 14 8:45a or 9:15a, Sat Feb 1 Community Fair
elementary.valleycharterschool.org
.
Chime Institute (K-8) — apps avail online now, deadline March 7 3p, lottery March 14
tours: Feb 5 9a, Feb 12 9a, Feb 19 9a, Feb 26 9a, Mar 5 9a
.
Our Community School (K-8) —  apps avail online now, deadline for K: Mar, deadline for Gr 1-8: May
tours: Feb 5, 8a, Feb 19 8a, Mar 5 8a, April 9 8a (818) 350-5000

SELECT 2014 Middle School Charter Deadlines: 

Animo WS MS — apps avail online now for wait list, deadline Dec 6 5p, lottery Dec 19, 2013 5p
 
The City School — apps avail online now, deadline Mar 3 10p, lottery Mar 13 4p (new location tbd)
tours: Jan 25 10a, Feb 1 10a, Feb 6, 7p, Feb 22 10a
 
Larchmont Charter/Hollywood (K-12) & WeHo (K-8) — apps avail online now – one application for all campuses, deadline Feb 19 5p, lottery Mar 1 9a
 
Magnolia Science Academy 4 — apps avail online now, deadline tbd
tours: Every Weds 3p
 
Magnolia Science Academy 6 — apps avail online now, deadline tbd
 
New LA Charter — apps avail online soon, deadline Mar 7 6p, lottery Mar 13 6:30p
tours: Jan 23 7p, Jan 31 8:45a, Feb 11 7p, Feb 22 3p, Feb 26 7p, Mar 7 6p (deadline)
 
New West Charter — apps avail at mandatory tour, deadline Apr 9 4p, verification Apr 11-15, lottery Apr 23 4p
tours: Jan 25 10a, Feb 5 6p, Apr 3 6p @SaMoHi
Ocean Charter School — apps avail onsite, deadline Jan 24 3p, lottery Feb 26 10a
Info mtgs: Jan 7 8:30a & 6p, Jan 9 8:30a, Jan 23 8:30a & 6p
Paul Revere Charter — apps closed for 2014, deadline Jan 17 4p, lottery Feb 19 7p
can apply for the 2nd non-resident wait list
 
Westchester Secondary Charter (6-10) — apps avail online now, deadline Mar 21 5p, lottery Mar 24 6p
tours: Feb 3 9a, Feb 17 9a, Mar 3 9a, Mar 17 9a
 
Wish Charter  — questions can be sent to wish secondary@gmail.com or call 310.642.9474
MS Info: Jan 29 6p, Feb 12 6p, Mar 12 9a app deadline Mar 12, Lottery Mar 28 8:30a
Other – NOT a charter, but a semi-autonomous District school of innovation:
Incubator Pilot School — no enrollment info yet for 2014
Chime Institute (K-8) — apps avail online now, deadline Mar 7 3p, lottery Mar 14
tours: Jan 22 9a, Feb 5 9a, Feb 122 9a, Feb 19 9a, Feb 26 9a, Mar 5 9a
Our Community School (K-8) —  apps avail online now, deadline for K: Mar, deadline for Gr 1-8: May
tours: Feb 5, 8a, Feb 19 8a, Mar 5 8a, April 9 8a (818) 350-5000
.
Valley Charter MS — apps avail Sept 1, 2013, deadline Oct 23, lottery Oct 25, 2013
tours: Jan 28 9:30a, Jan 30 9:30a, Feb 6, 11, 13 @9:30a
middle.valleycharterschool.org
.

For more info and schools, please view my color-coded school finder maps HERE.

Another Fantastic Middle School Event

NavMS

.

Thanks to organizer Julie Hoang and the Friends of Playa Vista Elementary School, another fabulous gathering of parents convened last night curious to learn about their public Middle School options on the Westside.

It’s never too early to learn “the lay of the land” so time can be spent touring, gathering info, talking to parents and collecting school impressions –all which will help formulate your school plan.

Updated Flier: Westside Middle School Forum Thurs, Oct 24

Middle-School-Forum-Final

Shopping Middle Schools on the Westside? Then you’ll want to check this out.

Thurs, October 24th starting at 6p, a dozen area middle schools will be under one roof at Mark Twain Middle School presenting their pitches, power points and pamphlets. Come, listen, learn. Afterward there’ll be a chance to walk up to each school table and ask questions.

And of course, I’ll be there to help focus you on your options.

WESTSIDE MIDDLE SCHOOL FORUM!
Thurs, October 24, 2013 6-8:30p
at Mark Twain Middle School
2224 Walgrove Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90066
It’s FREE!

Westside Middle School Forum, Oct 24 6p

Middle-School-Forum-Final

Shopping Middle Schools on the Westside? Then you’ll want to check this out.

Thurs, October 24th starting at 6p, a dozen area middle schools will be under one roof at Mark Twain Middle School presenting their pitches, power points and pamphlets. Come, listen, learn. Afterward there’ll be a chance to walk up to each school table and ask questions.

And of course, I’ll be there to help focus you on your options.

WESTSIDE MIDDLE SCHOOL FORUM!
Thurs, October 24, 2013 6-8:30p
at Mark Twain Middle School
2224 Walgrove Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90066
It’s FREE!

Thanks to organizers Julia Morgan and Sandi Wise, and the VNC Ed Committee. Thanks also to Mark Twain for hosting. No thanks to Venice HS (originally pegged to host) who had so much school pride they wouldn’t allow their space to be shared with a mix of charters, pilots, and magnets. Well, likely it was only the charters and pilot. Seriously? How HS of them!

Upcoming Charter Application Deadlines (Elementary)

Speaking of charters, we are now fully ensconced in what I refer to as “Charter Season.” The time to tour and get your charter school applications in before their deadlines and lotteries.

While not exhaustive, here’s a select list of some of the upcoming elementary school charter application deadlines and lottery dates around town. Most applications can be downloaded online on the school’s website and either mailed in or physically handed in to their office.

CharterFeel free to peruse my color-coded school finder MAPS for individual school contact info and a direct hyperlink onto their websites. All charters are marked in green on my maps.

Remember, independent charters open their lotteries to anyone from any district. Affiliated conversion charters, an LAUSD hybrid type charter, gives first priority to those residing within the school’s attendance area with any remaining seats going up for lottery to non-residents.

All charters give preference to siblings of existing students, and some charters offer other priorities in their lottery structure, such as to founding families, students residing within LAUSD, or students qualifying for Free/Reduced Meal Plan (ie. low socio-economic status.)

Each lottery is independently operated and instituted by each individual charter school. Applications are handled directly with each school site. There are no points involved, thankfully. If you applied and were waitlisted last year, you need to reapply this year.

Ok, here’s that list.

SELECT UPCOMING ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CHARTER DEADLINES:
(certainly not an exhaustive list and in no particular order)

Pacific Palisades Charter Complex* Schools — apps avail now in each office, deadline March 11th 12p, lottery March 22nd 8:30a *(schools include Canyon, Kenter Canyon, Palisades, Marquez and Topanga Charters)

WISH —  apps avail online now, deadline March 6th 6p, lottery March 15th

Goethe — apps avail online now, deadline Feb 28th,  lottery in March tbd

Ocean Charter School — apps avail online now, deadline Jan 25th, lottery Feb 27th 10a

Larchmont Hwd — apps avail now online, deadline Feb 20th 4p, lottery Feb 23rd 9a

Larchmont WeHo — apps avail now online, deadline Feb 8th 4p, lottery Feb 23rd 9a

Citizens of the World/Hwd — apps avail online now, deadline March 1st 4p, lottery March 21st 6p

Citizens of the World/Silver Lake — apps avail online now, deadline tbd, lottery April 4th

Citizens of the World/Mar Vista — – info Mtg 1/31 in MV, apps avail online now, deadline March 1st, lottery April 11th

Los Feliz Schl of the Arts — apps avail online, deadline Feb 28 (by mail) or March 5th 12p (in person), lottery March 5th

Valley Charter — apps avail online, deadline Feb 8th 4p, lottery Feb 22nd 5p

Chime — apps avail online now, deadline March 8th 3p, lottery March 15th

Ararat —  call 818.994.2904

Our Community Charter — 818.920.5285

Again, please view my school finder maps for more info and links.

Continued Rapid Growth Of Charter Schools in California

Charter GrowthCalifornia continues to be at the forefront of the Charter Movement since 1992 when it became the 2nd state after Minnesota to legally allow charter schools. This year there were 81 new charters that opened in the state of California, and 33 of those were in Los Angeles County alone.

This is the largest one-year increase since its inception twenty years ago.

It is estimated that about one in SIX students attend charter schools within the LAUSD!

To read more about the proliferation of charter schools, including an attempt by LAUSD School Board member Steve Zimmer to block the surge of new charters, read HERE.

View a list of upcoming elementary school charter application deadlines HERE.